Seniors who live in stormy, cold climates know how important it is to have heat. They have heard the statistics. The fatalities are always from their age group. Perhaps they don’t have heat or the system is not functioning properly due to neglect. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t have to be yours.

Lucky ones to Arizona or Florida for the season. They are called Snow Birds flocking away from their habitat to warmer climes. What a great idea. In a couple of hours they are toasty warm in the summerlike sun. Those who are not so lucky have to resort to blankets, portable heat, and the heating cooling system that hopefully is not on the fritz.

One thing to always keep on hand in snowy climates is a backup power generator. This marvelous device has saved more than one freezing soul. Even a small one can power up small heating appliances like the flower models that are safe and have a pretty good reach. The affluent have large generators for the entire electrical system of the whole house, and that is great if you can afford it. But at the minimum, a portable generator can be your saving grace.

Generators are expensive to be sure and selecting a mid-range model is not a bad idea. You don’t need the best or the worst, but something in between. Ask for help at your hardware store or read the fine print and testimonials on line before making your decision. It might be a matter of life and death.

Generators have various features and you can pay from $300 to $3000. What is the difference? The lower end models are great for camping and powering lights, an electric blanket, cooking gear, and the like. The big guys are for major power outages that could go on for some time. They can run a furnace, a fridge, a microwave, and charge car batteries, although not all at the same time.

Getting the right generator will save you much grief come November through March. It pays to have one on hand for emergencies. You never know what can happen, even to the best of us. If you are particularly isolated and hard to reach, all the more reason to keep one on hand. Rural folk don’t have to be told more than once!